Telling the Story of Your Own Shame: an Antidote to Loneliness



Product Description


If a writer wishes to be authentic, they must revel in shamelessness, expose contradictions and express the unspeakable. One of the most difficult emotions to bring to the surface is the shame we feel about ourselves, certain memories, secret actions, impulses and thoughts. But these patches of darkness, which we all have and struggle to own up to, are also where we find the best storytelling potential. When we find them purposefully expressed in a book we feel less alone; in some ways, we feel justified and redeemed.
Starting with Dostoevsky’s underground man and exploring the frustration of Fante’s Bandini, the erotomania of Miller’s Tropics, the cynicism of Céline’s Journey to the End of the Night, Proust’s contradictory infatuations and even Frank Underwood’s ruthless fourth-wall-breaking monologues in House of Cards, we will analyse the possibilities of revealing the most embarrassing and unspeakable sides of our soul and somehow transforming them into an antidote to the loneliness and shame that have stalked humankind since the days of Adam and Eve.

The eventual goal is to write a story of around 20,000 characters. It could be a fully-formed, standalone story, or the start of something longer. It should be written in the first person, using your own personal shame as the catalyst for the tale. But beware: the purpose of this writing exercise isn’t purely therapeutic – it’s to create a narrative. The personal substratum underlying the story needs to take on a universal value. We must take what is unspeakable from within our soul and find the right words to set it free, turning it into an understandable and engaging story that touches the reader.

Lessons will start in October and will go on for three months.

I’d like to enroll, how can I pay?
If you want to make a bank transfer, email us at classify@scuolaholden.it, and we will send you the details. If you want to pay online with PayPal, add the course to your cart and follow the instructions.

How does Classi-fy work?
You’ll have to follow a weekly timetable of appointments, which can be video lessons or notes to read. You’ll have deadlines to write and share your homework on Classi-fy website. You’ll read what your classmates write and you’ll be able to comment or receive feedback on what you write. You’ll be able to meet each other and talk about the lessons on the forum – ok, we already know you won’t only talk about that, but that’s part of the fun. Sometimes your teacher will post a video in which he publicly analyses the work of the class, but you’ll receive your personal evaluation also from your classmates, during the debate.

What are the technical skill necessary to take part to the course? Do I have to install a special program on my computer?
You’ll mainly work online, therefore all you need is the internet connection. On classi-fy.it website you can share your documents, watch the video lessons, download teaching material and text your classmates.

What does it happen at the end of the course?
The class will come to Scuola Holden, in Turin, in order to attend the final lesson and collect your diploma. Eventually you’ll meet everyone and, if everything is right, you’ll have a beer together in Borgo Dora to celebrate.